The Great Humanitarian
Herbert Hoover's Food Relief Efforts
Belgium & France - Finland - Germany & Austria - Poland - Russia - Baltic States - Eastern Europe - Other Countries
The Neutrals during World War I were Holland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, and Switzerland. These countries managed to stay out of the war, but when the blockade was lifted, 43 million people needed relief. Their imports for relief altogether amounted to 4.3 million tons of goods, which they purchased. Although they did not have a lot of suffering from the war, the countries did receive a little charity. The Neutrals were also very cooperative in terms of trading. If they needed food, they would trade their surplus of clothing with the American Relief Administration (ARA) and vice versa.
Map indicating all the countries where food relief was provided by organizations affiliated with Hoover.
In Japan, nearly everything was destroyed during World War II. Hoover labeled the coming winter in Japan as "a debacle of starvation" (Smith, 357). He suggested to Douglas MacArthur that a million tons of food be shipped to the area, which might provide temporary relief, if only in terms of the economic revival and future productivity of the country.

Japanese women in suburban Tokyo waiting to recieve their rations of rice. Due to shortages as a result of decreased production during the war, rationing continued for years after the war had ended. (Photo courtesy of Ohio State University)

Many other nations were provided with various amounts of relief including: Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Thailand, Philippines, India, Korea, Ireland, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, and Italy. Herbert Hoover helped a total of 57 countries throughout his lifetime as a humanitarian.
Loading grain for transport around the world


The quote in the picture at the left reads:

"In two wars I served amidst famine. And in the war shattered aftermath I directed reconstruction in many nations. Uppermost in the minds of plain people everywhere was that war should cease and that peace would come to the world."

Herbert Hoover

West Branch, Iowa

August 10, 1962


Floor of the Rotunda at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum

A map inlayed into the rotunda of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum shows the countries that were aided by Hoover-led organizations.
Back to the Map
Created by: Ross Byerly, Kim Nelson, Desiree Clark, Meredith Tinney, Keziah Low
Special thanks to Craig Wright, Maureen Harding, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum
Site launched: November 20, 2006
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